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London Photo Gallery - Best Photos

In 2004 and 2006 we traveled to London, England

London 01 01 From Air London is the largest city in Europe, and a favourite of mine. I have visited London more often than any other place. We flew in over the city centre with the Parliament Buildings and Westminster Abbey to the left of the Thames and the London Eye on the opposite bank. The tree-lined Embankment snakes along side the river with Cleopatraís Needle and just above the last bridge the Somerset House.

London 01 01 From Air

London 01 03 Houses Of Parliament Londonís Houses Of Parliament were designed by Charles Barry. The famous tower and clock are known as Big Ben, but this is in fact the name of the 16-ton bell that rings the hour. Passing by is probably the most famous London symbol, the red double-decker bus.

London 01 03 Houses Of Parliament

London 01 13 Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of The Queen and is one of the most famous and easily recognizable faÁades of any building in the world.

London 01 13 Buckingham Palace

London 01 14 Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard The Changing of the Guard takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and lasts a grueling 45 minutes. Members of the Old Guard repeatedly march to the fence within inches of the tourists, before turning and walking back.

London 01 14 Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard

London 01 10 Tower Bridge The Tower Bridge was opened in 1894 and measures 240m between the two towers, which house the machinery for raising the bascules in 90 seconds. The upper walkway is open to visitors.

London 01 10 Tower Bridge

London St. Pauls Cathedral 07 Dome The St. Paulís Cathedral altar sits beneath Wrenís great dome, which he conceived as an observatory linking heaven and earth. Statues portray doctors of both western and eastern churches. The Whispering Gallery is visible circling under the dome. We climbed 30m to the Whispering Gallery in St. Paulís Cathedral, where a whisper on one side can be heard 32m away on the other. The security guard was very diligent at not allowing any photos to be taken.

London St. Pauls Cathedral 07 Dome

London 01 09 Piccadilly Circus Peter and I walked to the famous London landmark Piccadilly Circus. Backlit by colourful electric displays is a bronze fountain topped by a figure of a winged archer, popularly called Eros, the pagan god of love. The archer was in fact designed in the 19th century as a symbol of Christian charity - a monument to Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist. Pete and I played a game of ĎFind Peterí. Now, where is he?

London 01 09 Piccadilly Circus

British Museum Top 20 00-2 The Great Court Free to the world since 1753, the British Museum houses one of the greatest collections of human cultural history. The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. The spectacular glass and steel roof added in 2000 has transformed the British Museum's inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe.

British Museum Top 20 00-2 The Great Court

British Museum Top 20 01-1 The Rosetta Stone 1. Rosetta Stone - Rosetta Egypt, 196BC, 114cm high. This granite stone was the key to deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs. The writing is in two languages, Egyptian and Greek, using three scripts, Hieroglyphic, Demotic Egyptian and Greek. Soldiers in Napoleon's army discovered the Rosetta Stone in 1799 near the town of el-Rashid (Rosetta). On Napoleon's defeat, the stone became the property of the English under the terms of the Treaty of Alexandria (1801) along with other antiquities that the French had found.

British Museum Top 20 01-1 The Rosetta Stone

British Museum Top 20 Buddhism 09-1 Standing Avalokiteshvara Front 9. Standing Avalokiteshvara Ė Nepal, 16C AD, 138cm high. Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva of compassion, of which the Dalai Lama is an incarnation. In his headdress is a small figure of the Tathagata Meditation Buddha Amitabha seated with his hands in meditation mudra. Semi-precious jewels are inset in the necklace, belt, anklets and in the forehead in the Nepali manner.

British Museum Top 20 Buddhism 09-1 Standing Avalokiteshvara Front

Courtauld 01-1 Vincent Van Gogh - Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery is housed in Londonís Somerset House, founded in 1931 by the textile magnate Samuel Courtauld. 1. Vincent van Gogh - Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Arles, January 1889, 61 x 50 cm. On the night of December 23, 1888, Vincent van Gogh was drunk and upset that his friend Paul Gauguin was planning to leave. He waved a knife in Gauguin's face, then cut off a piece of his own ear and gave it to a prostitute. Gauguin quickly left for Paris, and van Gogh went to a hospital.  A week later, Vincent looked in the mirror and saw a calm man with an unflinching gaze, dressed in a heavy coat (painted with thick, vertical strokes of blue and green) and fur-lined hat, and a slightly stained bandage over his ear.

Courtauld 01-1 Vincent Van Gogh - Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

London National Gallery Top 20 13 JMW Turner - The fighting Temeraire JMW Turner - The Fighting Temeraire, 1838, 91 x 122 cm. This painting was voted #1 in the 2005 BBC Greatest Painting in Britain Poll. Although Turner painted many years before the Impressionists, I consider him the true first Impressionist. The Temeraire was a famous ship that had helped Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The painting shows the ship as she makes her last voyage before being broken up for salvage. Turnerís brilliant sunset bathes her in light, celebrating her glorious victory. The golden sky contrasts with the dark, modern tug that pulls the majestic old ship to her deathbed. The painting, which Turner called his favourite, is also regarded as a reflection by the artist on his own age and death.

London National Gallery Top 20 13 JMW Turner - The fighting Temeraire

London National Gallery Top 20 01 Piero della Francesca - The Baptism Of Christ Piero della Francesca - The Baptism of Christ, 1440-45, 167 x 116 cm. This painting of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist was voted #9 in the 2005 BBC Greatest Painting in Britain Poll. A line from the apex of the arched top runs through the beak of the foreshortened white dove of the Holy Spirit, through the trickle of water from the equally foreshortened bowl held by John, its rim catching the sunlight, down the middle of Christís face, and through his reverently clasped hands, ending in the heel of his right foot, on which his weight is supported. The three angels on the left wait to dry and clothe Christ, while to the right of John, a man preparing to be baptized gets undressed. The landscape reveals Piero as a master of spatial depth, as evidenced in the river Jordan winding its way into the background and mirroring the landscape around it.

London National Gallery Top 20 01 Piero della Francesca - The Baptism Of Christ